Solar power to push up electricity costs
Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:09 PM
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Posted 17 March 2012 - 03:33 AM
Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:10 PM
Selling off the government owned electricity utilities in South Australia started before 2000 according to Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia....South_Australia
Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:30 PM
Posted 24 March 2012 - 04:33 PM
Posted 25 March 2012 - 12:29 AM
Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:56 AM
I guess I'll repeat and expand what I posted.
We killed the carbon tax here. It's a very regressive tax, hitting the poor the worst. Instead of using the stick we are using the carrot, 30% tax credit, no dollar limit. Our national average electric bill is something like 11 cents/KWH with the high being less tthan 25 cents. I pay 6.5 cents because where I live we are 84% hydro.
At first I thought Washington rebates sucked but I'm warming up to them. We get 15 cents/KWH production credit so my yearly check from the state should be around $1400-$1500 for my 10KW system. In addition my PUD supports net metering so with the single bidirectional meter I only pay the difference. Basically I have net metering for the utility and a separate production meter for the state.
Our electric rates do continue to increase all over the nation though, as most states, including Washington, have green production mandates. Ours is scheduled to increase dramatically in 2013 so I expect a significant increase then. Even though the bulk of our power is hydro, the state does not consider it green so it's solar, wind, and biomass.
All told, though our rate is only 6.5 cents, I'll still have a payback of less than 8 years which is perfect since the state credit expires 2020. I did the installation myself and paid $22,600, or $2.25/watt. Panels have fallen 40% since my purchase.
I think China is a double edged sword when it comes to solar. We lose jobs but they make solar affodable. On the whole, I tihnk in this case it's a net positive. Panel production is highly automated so the jobs lost are relatively few. One the other hand, the low prices have made solar competitive with coal and hydro and even cheaper than nuclear, when self installed. Here you can buy grid tie compatible panels for $1/watt and off grid for an unbelievable 50 cents/watt.
I think solar is cheap enough now that we should drop the 30% credit and offer no/low interest solar conversion loans instead. At this point, it's the up front costs that are stalling widespread adoption.
If I were king of the USA this is what I'd do:
Enlist Wal-Mart to make mass purchases of panels and inverters and partner with Home Depot for all the ancellary stuff.
Develop a DIY instructional video, freely available, and have Home Depot teach a class as they do now for other functions, (tiling, etc.).
Enlist Habitat for Humanity, Sierra Club, Natural Resouces Defense Council, Elks, Moose, Rotary, even the NRA, as a volunteer force to register with Home Depot so any home owner could get whatever help they'd need. I'd volunteer in a heartbeat.
I think if we did this we could convert the nation as fast as solar panels were loaded off the ships. The public wouldn't lose because the loan would be similar to their monthly electric bills. The government wouldn't lose because the loans would be paid back. The onlly losers would be the utility companies.
That's my 2 cents for a Sunday morning!
Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:30 PM
We killed the carbon tax here. It's a very regressive tax, hitting the poor the worst.
A carbon tax doesn't need to be regressive.
Make a US carbon tax revenue neutral by rebating all the proceeds and make it non-regressive by rebating it all equally to all adult legal residents.
Implement a very modest fossil carbon tax to begin with, taxing fossil fuels at the first point of sale, increasing predictably as time passes. The tax bite will be passed on down to the ultimate consumers who are equally rebated the tax proceeds.
A person who consumes less fossil fuel and less fossil fuel connected products and services will have a lower increase in expenses than a person who uses lots of these things. Drive a gas miser car and have a lower expense increase than somebody who chooses to drive an RV around. Have a small home to heat and aircondition, have a lower increase than somebody with a mansion.
An energy conserver would come out ahead moneywise after the rebate. An energy waster wouldn't. As fossil carbon taxes increased consumer choices would favor low-carbon energy and products and services.
See http://www.carbontax...roduction/#what (the rebate part is halfway down the page)
and http://www.columbia....aysAndMeans.pdf (carbon tax on page 4)
Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:22 PM
Again, I prefer the carrot. Incentives are great at kick starting a market, then they can be removed so the negative effect is only temporary. Taxes, on the other hand, never go away. They may go up or down but they are there in perpituity.
Since I have 10KW solar on my roof it would be no big deal for me, in my self interest I should be for them. But make no mistake it will be the poor that will pay one way or another.
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